Content of the article: "OC World of Sphaera – The Paladin Reimagined"
In the beginning…as in the first addition of the AD&D rules…paladins had to be lawful good. The character class was a sub of the fighter class, and one that was restrictive in many ways.
I remember the first time I chose the paladin for my primary character. I felt it was a great way to hedge against not needing a cleric in a higher level party(one paladin plus numerous healing magics). More fighter power and offense should be able to convert to victories in the dungeon, right?
Not really. The DM held to the rules with great conviction, making sure that all of my decisions, all of the paladin's decisions, were lawful good, or be cast out and made into a normal fighter. So, while the rest of the party laughed at me, running amok in the dungeon and gaining wealth much faster than I could, I sat there trying to figure this class out.
In the end, there wasn't much to be done. There were restrictions that I didn't like. Maybe it was just me not being very lawful good in my real life. I dunno…perhaps….
There was one good outcome though. One person in our party had gone out and bought the newly printed Deities and Demigods book. Connecting the paladin to a god gave me new thoughts and actions that made dealing with the restrictions a bit easier. Bringing the "Will of Gods" into a campaign probably made the DM's job a bit more complicated, but for a player, I enjoyed the new dimension in the game.
I never agreed with the mandate of being lawful good, however. A paladin was a champion of a cause, whether good, neutral, or evil. And what about the anti-paladin? I felt it was foolish. In the world of first addition AD&D it was the best they could do, but clearly it needed adjusting…and in the end, that is exactly what happened.
As of AD&D fourth edition, the paladin was freed to do other things. The paladin no longer needed to be lawful good, he simply needed to follow the tenets of his chosen deity. No more policing and nitpicking by our fellow players…oh, but that wasn't actually true.
In the fifth edition, the paladin could chose a specific cause or oath that would drive the paladin down a certain path of actions. Still restrictive, but it allowed me to create a paladin that would better suit my emotional state in the "real world". Still, I always felt a monkey on my back no matter which way I played this character.
Is a paladin best suited to be a NPC? An agent of the DM designed to elicit a certain response from the party? I strayed from the path of the paladin and never looked back….until about a year ago.
I decided I would put every single thought I'd ever had about epic fantasy into a world of my own creation. In doing so, I created a central kingdom ruled by a king that wielded godly might. I created a world where gods interact with the world around them on a daily basis. This king worshipped the ultimate God of Balance, and because this king can't go around slashing and hacking, he needed a champion that could do it for him.
Enter the paladin…a champion to keep the Balance forever, and always. Apparently, I'd not forgotten about this class of fighter that had always intrigued and baffled me.
My paladin, whose cause is the Balance, and who worships Vilagir, the God of Balance, would be able to do things that no paladin before him had been capable of doing. Not true neutral, and as a matter of fact, not even needing a set alignment…this warrior would satisfy the needs of his god as he saw fit and walk the planet of Sphaera being feared, loved, and above all…respected and hated at the same time.
That paladin is Belevus. He is a construct of mine that I can't wait to wrap many a story around for years to come.
And so…please, please tell me about your paladin. Tell me your understanding of a paladin and how you've done "out of the box" things with the character. Tell me your struggles with the class. Tell me about your causes and the gods your paladin worships. I want to know more…Thanks.
- Just had something uncomfortable happen in my campaign.
- “Minmaxing doesn’t ruin RP” thread #58217561382761289
- My first ever character was killed, and I regret nothing.
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